Juliet Turner

Season of the Hurricane

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Here's one that will sneak up on you and poke you hard in the ribs when you're not paying attention. Irish singer/songwriter Juliet Turner starts off her third album with a surprise move, a smoldering song of ambivalent romantic longing built on a foundation of dark rockers reggae, complete with Augustus Pablo-style melodica and dub effects. Then the music slides into polite folk-rock and stays there for most of the rest of the album, jangly guitars and Hammond organ supporting her quirky lyrics and lovely, sweet-and-sour voice. "1987" commemorates adolescent love with melancholy and heartbreaking sweetness; the strangely twisting but utterly beautiful melody of "Vampire" winds around lines like "Moan, fog horn, moan for the leaving of the boat/You know that she's a vampire but you still offer her your throat." The Irish radio hit is "Everything Beautiful Is Burning," which features some of the most artfully applied strings in the history of pop music, and "Take the Money and Run" closes the program with a brilliant juxtaposition of meat-and-potatoes rock & 'roll and weird electronic burbles. "Unique" is a term that has lost a lot of its meaning in the pop music world, but it's one that applies powerfully, and in all the best ways, to Juliet Turner.

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